A closer look at the hottest solutions from February
Staff -- Interior Design, 2/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
To link the ground and balcony levels of his New York gallery, Ingrao, Tony Ingrao had hoped for a concrete swirl of a staircase, molded to his precise specifications. When concrete proved too heavy, the designer turned to stainless steel—and to Peter Versteeg, a Connecticut metalworker who fabricates Claes Oldenburg sculptures. The idea was to make the stair flow, ribbonlike, despite the large amounts of steel needed to support the 4-foot cantilevers. Ingrao and Versteeg manipulated a 1/24-scale model until they had the desired look. Once the stair structure was in place, precut stainless-steel panels were fitted onto the underside, giving it the finish Ingrao insisted on. The treads are granite: rough on top for traction, polished on the front for glamour. "Hold the Bric-a-Brac," page 134. —F.A.B.
Building the fantasy
Working on the London restaurant Sketch, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, a designer who trained as a sculptor, carved out features to delight and challenge the visitor. It was just three weeks before opening night when owner Mourad Mazouz realized that the stone stairs to the second-floor haute-cuisine dining room were damaged. The team brainstormed—and came up with the notion of pouring on resin like melted chocolate. "It was really impulsive," says Duchaufour-Lawrance. "It was done in an evening." The rest room for one of Sketch's two bars required much more forethought. Here, the custom fiberglass eggs that house the toilets had to be ordered four months in advance from a boatbuilder. "The New Xanadu," page 114. —S.W.
Stairs in overdrive
This staircase starts as a circle, gradually unwinding in a downward spiral to make its dramatic entrance in the ground-floor lobby of the Collection, a luxury car dealership in the Coral Gables section of Miami. The Collection's architect, Massimo Iosa Ghini, fabricated the entire structure in Italy. For the balustrades, he sandwiched two layers of glass around a safety-minded PVC core. Stair treads consist of stainless-steel trays that hold glass mosaic tile in place; stainless-steel risers are dovetailed into the treads, so the mosaic is flush to each step's edge. The flowing curves of the brushed-aluminum base and handrail can be experienced at any speed. "Fast Company," page 190. —D.P.